Expecting an aching neck from looking skyward, Kimberly Damon discovered a lot more to do at a hot air balloon festival, including getting up close and personal with a 900lb silk cow, kicking back with live music, and how to take a balloon "ride" without spending a fortune.
From a frozen-in-time apothecary to a surprisingly fascinating homage to flour, Sara Gates recommends a selection of 15 smaller, quirkier American alternatives to the traditional museum-going experience.
Julie Blakley offers up the 12 best ski areas in North America for those who'd rather ride champagne powder than hang out in the champagne room-where it isn't about glitz and glamour, but about fresh tracks and big mountains.
Are you staring at months of winter? Or even just a cubicle wall? Allow us to give you a little virtual vacation - and perhaps spur your next vacation choice - with the best travel photos from BootsnAll in October 2010.